Funeral services held for Greenon principal

Jake Fitzgerald, who was named principal of the new Greenon Elementary School last fall, died on July 5.

He was 32.

Funeral services were held Friday at First Light Church, 140 Elva Court in Vandalia, and a private interment was held in Old Union Cemetery in Newton Twp., according to his obituary.

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“Although Mr. Fitzgerald had only been with our district for one year, he had made a deep impact on our schools, staff, students, and families, and built great relationships with so many people during his time here,” said Greenon Superintendent Darrin Knapke. “He will be missed for so many reasons, but especially for the kind and joyful way he interacted with everyone from the kids to the families to the staff.”

Prior to joining the Greenon district, Fitzgerald was the assistant principal of Greenville Elementary in 2020 and began his education career as a teacher at Salem Christian Academy in Clayton then in 2014 as a third-grade teacher at Concord Elementary in Troy.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Grace College and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Miami University. After completing his degree, he accepted an administrative job at Greenville City Schools before becoming Greenon’s elementary principal.

“(Fitzgerald) loved spending time with his family, playing or watching sporting events, and serving and worshipping with his friends at First Light Church,” his obituary stated. “The love that he had for his wife and children was only surpassed by the love he had for His Savior, assuring him of the hope of Heaven.”

Fitzgerald is survived by his parents, Joseph and Cathy; wife Chelsey; children Shayla, Emery and Boston; brother Micah; grandmother Myrtle McGuire; brothers-in-law Cody and Cade Gingerich; sisters-in-law Cassie Johnson and Cami Gingerich; father and mother- in-law Galen and Melody Gingerich; and numerous aunts and uncles, according to his obituary.

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There is no additional information at this time and the district asks for privacy for the Fitzgerald family.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to benefit the Fitzgerald family at Fifth Third Bank. Online memories can be left for the family at

Several trees have been planted in memory of Fitzgerald, and many people wrote on his tribute wall to send condolences.

“Jake was my third grade teacher. Everyday I looked forward to seeing him because he was the best teacher I ever had. I’m praying for his family and I know that God has a place for him and always will,” Coralee Whicker wrote.

“There are no words we can offer up to ease your pain. Jake was a wonderful, fun-loving, kind young man, who was quick with a smile and a huge heart for others. This loss will be felt in so many lives, and frankly, our world will miss his light,” Randy and Elizabeth Gulley wrote.

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